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Marriage Stability, Taxation and Aggregate Labor Supply in the U.S. vs. Europe

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Author Info

  • Holter, Hans A

    ()
    (Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies)

  • Chakraborty, Indraneel

    ()
    (Southern Methodist University)

  • Stepanchuk, Serhiy

    ()
    (Magyar Nemzeti Bank)

Abstract

Americans work more than Europeans. Using micro data from the U.S. and 17 European countries, we study the contributions from demographic subgroups to these aggregate level di erences. We document that women are typically the largest contributors to the discrepancy in work hours. We also document a negative empirical correlation between hours worked and di erent measures of taxation, driven by men, and a positive correlation between hours worked and divorce rates, driven by women. Motivated by these observations, we develop a life-cycle model with heterogeneous agents, marriage and divorce and use it to study the impact of two mechanisms on labor supply: (i) di erences in marriage stability and (ii) di erences in tax systems. We calibrate the model to U.S. data and study how labor supply in the U.S. changes as we introduce European tax systems, and as we replace the U.S. divorce and marriage rates with their European equivalents. We nd that the divorce and tax mechanisms combined explain 58% of the variation in labor supply between the U.S. and the European countries in our sample.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series, Center for Fiscal Studies with number 2012:7.

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Length: 64 pages
Date of creation: 27 May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uufswp:2012_007

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Email:
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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Keywords: Aggregate Labor Supply; Taxation; Marriage; Divorce; Heterogeneous Households;

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References

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  1. Virginia Sanchez-Marcos & Orazio Attanasio & Hamish Low, 2004. "Explaining Changes in Female Labour Supply in a Life-Cycle Model," 2004 Meeting Papers 492, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Luis Cubeddu & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2003. "Families As Shocks," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 671-682, 04/05.
  3. Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Labor Supply and Taxes: A Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 961-1075, December.
  4. Richard Rogerson, 2007. "Structural Transformation and the Deterioration of European Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fatih Guvenen & Burhanettin Kuruscu & Serdar Ozkan, 2009. "Taxation of human capital and wage inequality: a cross-country analysis," IFS Working Papers W09/23, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
  7. Kimmel, Jean & Kniesner, Thomas J., 1998. "New evidence on labor supply:: Employment versus hours elasticities by sex and marital status," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 289-301, July.
  8. Richard Blundell & Antoine Bozio & Guy Laroque, 2011. "Extensive and intensive margins of labour supply: working hours in the US, UK and France," IFS Working Papers W11/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2012. "Taxation and Household Labour Supply," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 1113-1149.
  10. Michelle Rendall, 2011. "The Service Sector and Female Market Work: Europe vs US," 2011 Meeting Papers 778, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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Cited by:
  1. Guner, Nezih & Kaygusuz, Remzi & Ventura, Gustavo, 2012. "Income Taxation of U.S. Households: Facts and Parametric Estimates," CEPR Discussion Papers 9078, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Nezih Guner & Remzi Kaygusuz & Gustavo Ventura, 2014. "Online appendix to "Income Taxation of U.S. Households: Facts and Parametric Estimates"," Technical Appendices 11-141, Review of Economic Dynamics.

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